Outdoor Living Out? Laundry Rooms, Big Closets In? NAHB Shouldn’t Mess With Texas

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I’m a wee skeptical of The National Association of Home Builders 2018 survey of “thousands of U.S. homebuyers” for must-haves.

I have no doubt these things were tops on consumer’s wish list, and were accurately reported. I just think housing preferences are more regional. And this list is too national. 

These are features buyers ranked as most likely to be required in a house: 

Large closets are IN

1. Laundry room 
2. Low-energy windows 
3. Walk-in closet (we had these in Texas when I moved here in 1980)
4. Great room  (Texas invented the Great Room)
5. Programmable thermostat 
6. 9-foot ceilings  (Texas invented…)
7. Kitchen island 
8. Efficient lighting 
9. Granite countertops (Well, actually, no…)
10. Energy-star appliances (Or some star…)

All good there, but this is Texas. You cannot tell me that outdoor kitchens are out… here are features consumers say they want least:

1. Cork flooring (well no duh)
2. Solar water heater (maybe in Phoenix, or Palm Springs)
3. Geothermal heat pump (takes too many years to recoup the investment)
4. Dual master bath toilets (disagree: I want in next house, as do many Boomers)
5. Laminate countertops (We knew this in 2000)
6. Pet-washing station  (Just give me an outside shower)
7. Outdoor kitchen (still VERY popular in Dallas, now with automatic screens)
8. Sunroom  (try calling it a Loggia, see what happens)
9. Outdoor fireplace (practically must be standard in most North Texas homes. Now if you’re talking Cali… no more fireplaces anywhere)
10. Media room (we knew this in 2015, but thanks)

A reader tells me today she prefers dual masters, not even mentioned, over an outdoor kitchen… good for an in-law suite, a boomerang kid, or a future short term rental…

“We did that in a reno a few years ago – added a senior-friendly in-law suite. It looked super nice as all safety features were designed in, like doorways large enough for a walker, large “luxury” shower with slight sloping “roll-in” entry and movable shower heads, skylights so no need to fumble for light switches before night, etc. Lots of built-ins. Packed it all in under 800 sq feet. Could be used for seniors, bounce-backs, or rental if code allows. Makes much more sense than an outdoor kitchen!”

I am reaching out to our preferred home builders to see what they are seeing, y’all let us know right here, right now, if you agree or disagree…

Media Rooms are OUT
Game rooms?
Outdoor Kitchen DEAD?

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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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